Local animal shelters have issued an urgent call for pet adoptions following a surge in abandoned animals and the Santa Monica Animal Shelter has agreed to take in animals from neighboring cities to ease the crisis.

All six animal shelters in the city of Los Angeles are currently at capacity. The system currently has 861 available dogs, 519 cats, and 353 other animals. While L.A. system often intakes about 150 animals a week during the summer season a recent spate of hoarding cases brought an additional 99 dogs into their care in a single week.

Ashley Rodriguez with Los Angeles Animal Services said they rely on a network of foster homes and regional partners to address overflow.

“We need fosters year-round and fosters are what really makes the difference in getting us to our no-kill goal,” she said.

The Santa Monica animal shelter has also stepped up and recently and taken in animals from Los Angeles. Rodriguez said when those animals are adopted out, it can free up space for the Santa Monica shelter to take even more pets from Los Angeles.

Santa Monica’s Animal Control Administrator Alex Mendoza said Santa Monica has a lower intake rate compared to other facilities in the county and with space available, the local shelter was able to heed the call put out by Los Angeles.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done that and it’s mainly because Los Angeles reached out to us,” he said. “They are trying to do more to increase their live release rate and because they reached out to help is why we’re assisting.”

He said at maximum capacity, Santa Monica can house about 50 dogs and 70 cats but they usually have 10-15 of each animal available on any given day.

“We’re both serving the same mutual goal, both the city of L.A. and Santa Monica,” he said. “We’re proud and happy to be able to assist them in meeting that mutual goal in terms finding homes for adoptable animals in the area.”

This weekend, Los Angeles shelters will be reducing their adoption fees to:

Adult Dogs – $51.00 (5 months +, reduced from $102)

Puppies – $75 (4 months and under, reduced from $150)

Adult Cats – $12.50 (5 months +, reduced from $25)

Kittens – $25 (4 months and under, reduced from $50)

“All six of our animal shelters are filled to capacity with hundreds of amazing dogs and cats of all sizes, ages, colors, hair length and breeds,” said Rodriguez. “Our pets are vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped before going to their new homes. While the dog adoption fees are reduced, there will be a $20 dog license fee applied for LA City residents.”

Fees at the Santa Monica shelter vary based on factors like the length of time the animal has been at the shelter, spay/neuter and microchipping. The base fee is $192.55 and Santa Monica residents will also need a city license that is about $40 for spayed/neutered pets.

Later this month, on August 18, local shelters will participate in the annual Clear the Shelters campaign. During that campaign, adoption fees will also be reduced.

Individuals who want to volunteer to foster an animal can print out an application online or visit one of the six shelters. Applications must be returned to a shelter during regular business hours.

Rodriguez said the summer months are always the busiest for the shelter and the need is greatest for older and/or larger pets.

“Those are the animals that are most at risk, our elderly animals and our large dogs,” she said. “It can really make difference if you adopt a larger older animal.”

Mendoza said individuals that are considering a new pet are strongly encouraged to visit any of the regional shelters in the coming weeks.

“If this is the right time in your life to adopt a pet, this is a good time to look to us for your next companion,” he said.

Adoptable pets from throughout the county can be viewed online at www.petharbor.com.


Los Angeles Shelters


East Valley Center
14409 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA 91405
888-4LAPET1 (888-452-7381)
(818) 756-9323


Harbor Center
957 N. Gaffey Street, San Pedro, CA 90731
888-4LAPET1 (888-452-7381)
(310) 548-2632


North Central Center
3201 Lacy Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031
888-4LAPET1 (888-452-7381)
(213) 485-5767


South Los Angeles, Chesterfield Square Center
1850 W. 60th St. Los Angeles, CA 90047
888-4LAPET1 (888-452-7381)
(323) 565-2161


West Los Angeles Center
11361 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064
888-4LAPET1 (888-452-7381)
(310) 207-3156


West Valley Center
20655 Plummer Street, Chatsworth, CA 91311
888-4LAPET1 (888-452-7381)
(818) 756-9325


Santa Monica Shelter

1640 Ninth Street
Santa Monica, Ca 90404


Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...